Category Archives: US EPA

Environmentalists Honored For Extraordinary Efforts

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By Gina Hall
[Gina is a USC Film School Graduate. She works with Global Green USA and is a guest blogger for the Green Blog Network.]
Environmental nonprofit Global Green USA celebrated its 15th annual Millennium Awards at a star-studded fundraising gala at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica on Saturday. Celebrity guests and presenters included Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Guest, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr and Adrian Grenier. 
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One of the evening’s high-profile honorees was actor Mark Ruffalo, recently nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Kids are Alright. Actress Laura Dern presented Ruffalo with his honor for his work to eliminate the controversial hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a., “hydrofracking,” a chemical process that fractures shale in order to retrieve oil and natural gas. The process, as seen in the Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland, has been shown to contaminate water supplies to the point of becoming flammable. Ruffalo has testified before Congress, arguing for a ban on the practice and has started his own foundation, Water Defense, to educate the public on the dangers of hydrofracking.

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Ed Begley, Jr. was also among the honorees, for his work to inspire others to create a more sustainable world. Featured on the reality program, Living with Ed, the actor and Studio City resident has become associated with the ultimate in green living – even going as far as generating power for his home via stationary bicycle.  Other honorees included the Los Angeles Business Council for their work to encourage the use of solar power in the city, and Wendy Schmidt, founder of the Schmidt Family Foundation and the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Prize. 
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“Thanks to our sponsors, including Sprint, 360 Vodka and dozens more, Global Green raised over $470,000 to support our local and national initiatives,” noted Global Green’s Communications Director Ruben Aronin. 

“We are so excited to celebrate the impressive achievements of our 2011 Millennium Awards Honorees,” said Global Green President and CEO Matt Petersen. “It’s particularly auspicious to celebrate these leaders as World Environment Day approaches and we mark the one-year countdown to the Rio Earth Summit in 2012, when our global leaders will gather to make commitments to make our world more sustainable. Global Green will be marshaling its supporters to call for local and community-based approaches to solving climate change, including creating greener cities, schools and affordable housing for families.”
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EPA Recognizes Sony For Leading Green Power Purchase

EPA Recognizes Sony For Leading Green Power Purchase

 

NEW YORK, February 3, 2011 – Sony Corporation of America, Sony DADC, Sony Electronics and Sony Pictures Entertainment in the U.S., under the umbrella of Sony Corporation of America, announced today that they have come together to purchase more than 143 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually for 2011, which is enough green power to meetan estimated 49 percent of these entities’ electricity use.  As a result of this purchase, Sony Corporation of America ranks No. 27 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) National Top 50 list of the largest green power purchasers.

Sony is purchasing Green-e verified renewable energy certificates (RECs) through Renewable Choice Energy and 3Degrees.  Additionally, Sony is using its own on-site solar installations, which produce more than 600,000 kWh/year. These activities demonstrate a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.

 

According to EPA, Sony’s green power purchase of more than 143 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 20,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 13,000 average American homes annually.  This purchase also qualifies the Company for EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction given to organizations that have significantly exceeded EPA’s minimum purchase requirements. Green Power Leadership Club members must purchase ten times the partnership’s minimum requirement organization-wide.

 

Sony’s recent green power purchase and on-site solar generation initiatives are part of its ongoing support of renewable energy and its commitment to reducing its environmental impact globally under its “Road to Zero” environmental plan, through which the Company aims to achieve a zero environmental footprint by 2050.

 

As a global leader in the consumer electronics and entertainment industries, Sony is fully committed to responsible corporate citizenship and environmental stewardship through its products, its programs, its practices and its people.  From research and development of energy-efficient products and processes, to the responsible re-use and recycling of materials, Sony strives to protect and promote a healthy and sustainable planet, improving the quality of life of future generations.  For more information on Sony’s global environmental initiatives, visitwww.sony.net/SonyInfo/csr/environment/index.html.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.

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>Pierce Brosnan Talks Whales At Global Green Awards

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Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith took to the Global Green podium Saturday night in Santa Monica to speak out in support of Whale Rights.

 
Pierce Brosnan speaks out in support of whales at Global Green’s June Award Ceremonies in Santa Monica. Photo courtesy Charley Gallay.

Pierce Brosnan, Actor and Environmentalist, who is the global whale spokesperson for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Fred O’Regan, President of IFAW, have written an Open Letter to President Barack Obama. 

Obama administration officials are pushing to lift the global ban on whale hunting. In 1986, after two centuries of whaling pushed whales to near extinction, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling worldwide. It remains one of the 20th Century’s most iconic conservation victories.

Beginning with President Ronald Reagan, the international ban on commercial whaling has been a policy championed by every single American President.

 
 
Keely Shaye Smith and husband Pierce Brosnan produced PSA in support of whales and against lifting the ban on whaling. Photo courtesy Charley Gallay, Santa Monica, June 12, 2010.

The PSA, which was co-written and co-produced by his wife Environmental Activist Keely Shaye Brosnan and Beef Films began airing on Sunday, June 6, 2010.
To view the PSA and the open letter go to SaveTheWhalesNOW.org

Pierce Brosnan, Actor and Environmentalist, was an honored presenter at the 14th annual Global Green USA Awards Gala. Photo courtesy Michael Caulfield.

The marine devastation caused by the ongoing BP oil disaster drills down on how crucial it is that the United States extends protection to all threatened marine species – especially including the world’s largest and most majestic mammal – the whale.

L.A. City Controller, Wendy Greuel, supports Global Green USA. Photo courtesy Michael Caulfield.

Ripped from recent headlines is Peter Bethune, of Sea Shepherd’s, trial in Japan for his attempt to prevent a Japanese whaling ship from slaughtering whales in the international waters of the Antarctic.

Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, said that Mr Bethune “is being used as a political football by right-wing nationalists in Japan.”
Mr. Bethune has described what he’s going through in the Japanese courts as “judicial rape.” Read More HERE

Mr Bethune is expected to be found guilty of the assault charge despite weeping in court last week and saying he had no intention of hurting whalers. Japanese courts boast a conviction rate of more than 99 per cent and if found guilty he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
By labelling its hunting “scientific research”, Japan has often killed more than 1,000 whales a year. In 2008, Japan’s fishing fleet came back with only just above half of its target number, in part because animal rights activists, including Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace, targeted the whaling voyage.
Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith were honored presenters at the Global Green USA Awards this past weekend held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bugalows in Santa Monica.
Other presenters included: Hosted by Good Morning America’s Sam Champion, Pierce Brosnan & Keely Shaye Smith, Michelle Rodriguez, Amy Smart, Alison Brie, Sharon Lawrence, Judy Greer, Rhona Mitra, Walton Goggins, James Kyson-Lee, Cheryl Tiegs, Bahar Soomekh and State Senator Fran Pavley helped tribute the evening’s honorees including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The University of California System, The W Hollywood Hotel & Residences, James Cameron & Suzy Amis Cameron, and Global Green President Matt Petersen.

Matt Petersen, President of Global Green USA and Award Recipient for 2010, with Cheryl Tiegs. Photo Courtesy Michael Caulfield.

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
International Environmental Leadership Award: Recognizing their 40th anniversary as a federal agency.

Mark G. Yudof, University of California System President; Matt Petersen, Global Green USA President; Marty Collins of Gatehouse Capital. Each accepted an award at this year’s Global Green Awards Ceremony in Santa Monica. Photo courtesy Michael Caulfield.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SYSTEM
California Environmental Leadership Award: UC President Mark G. Yudof is accepting this award in recognition of the UC System’s expansive leadership in constructing green buildings on their campuses, more LEED certified buildings than any other university in the country.

Allison Brie presents award to Marty Collins of Gatehouse Capital.  Photo Courtesy Charley Gallay.

W HOLLYWOOD HOTEL & RESIDENCES
Green Building Environmental Leadership Award: Marty Collins of Gatehouse Capital is accepting the award in recognition of their contribution to advancing green building with the newly opened and first LEED certified hotel in Los Angeles.

 
Michelle Rodriguez, 14th Annual Global Green Gala Awards, Santa Monica. Photo courtesy Michael Caulfield.

JAMES CAMERON & SUZY AMIS CAMERON
Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award: In recognition of their longtime commitment to environmental advocacy, specifically recognizing the global impact and environmental message of the landmark film AVATAR.
MATT PETERSEN
Founders Award: In recognition of his incredible leadership and bold vision during his 15 years of service at Global Green USA.

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>Fran’s Clean Cars Rule!

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Senator Pavley with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson at White House announcement of new federal emission standard for cars based on Pavley’s bill.

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California’s 2002 law, AB 1493 by then Assemblymember Fran Pavley, (now Senator Pavley), allows California to enact and enforce emissions standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. But we had to fight for that right.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been one of the biggest champions of the law, if not the biggest,  had this to say after the Obama Administration announced it has adopted a clean cars rule modeled after California’s first-in-the-nation vehicle emissions standard:

“Thanks to the leadership of the White House, the federal government is following California’s example and announcing tough national standards for cleaner cars. These new nationwide standards will drive car companies to provide cleaner automobiles that will create jobs and save consumers money at the pump. This is not only great news for consumers who will see a wider choice of clean, efficient cars in their showrooms, but also for all Americans who will see lower emissions, better environmental protection and greater energy security.”

Since taking office, the Governor has aggressively pursued the enforcement of California’s 2002 law, AB 1493 by then Assemblymember (now Senator) Fran Pavley, which allows California, independent of the Federal Government,  to enact and enforce emissions standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. The state filed a lawsuit against the U.S. EPA in 2008 to overturn its decision denying California’s waiver request to enforce the state’s emission standards after the California Air Resources Board requested the waiver in 2005. The U.S. EPA granted California’s waiver in June 2009.  For a complete chronology on the bill, Click HERE >>>.

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>Green Salon Series Presented By Breathe L.A.

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By Nicole Hansen
[Blogger Bio Below]
When the Green Blog Network asked me to be a panelist for the Breathe LA Salon “AB 32.0 and the Rise of Green Digital Media” and blog about it on The Green Blog Network, I was reluctant. Ever since my son Nikos directed the global warming PSA, Save It, I’ve been thrown into a world of “green” issues. Many times I feel ill equipped to participate, as if I’m the student and everyone else around me are the experts—including my own children. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in Boulder, Colorado! Nothing could be more “green” than the granola Disneyland of my youth. But since coming to California twenty years ago, being ecological has gone from something the “Earth Muffins” of Boulder would do to actually becoming state laws. Such is the case with California’s AB 32.

 
Nicole Hansen of Green Galaxy Enterprises spoke on behalf of The Green Blog Network at 
Breathe L.A.’s Green Salon series. Photo Courtesy Alastair Shearman.

AB 32 – Getting The Word Out

Stephanie Mullen, the Senior Field Representative to State Senator Fran Pavley made the opening remarks, stating that Senator Pavley authored AB 32 to give the California Air Resources Board authority to bring emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. Though the law was enacted years ago, I was surprised to hear that it has not yet been implemented. She stated that we need to use resources more effectively and are looking for a strong, green economy in California. The moderator, Ray Gonzales, a former KTLA personality, brought up the fact that there is a lot of opposition to the law because of its shorthand as “the global warming law.” I believe he has a point—so how does the green social media reach those who don’t believe in global warming so that they will be less opposed to something that is basically based on common sense?
Common Sense Approach To Information Dissemination
The first panelist, Jennifer Gooding, is the LA Ambassador to EcoTuesday. She brought up the point that people’s initial hesitation arises from a disconnection to the world that can be remedied by social media. She believes that we need a forum to connect, and she has been described as that connector. We often get a bunch of information, are overwhelmed, but are not connected. That’s the benefit of social media when it comes to getting the message out there, since the vast majority of people did not know what AB 32 is. We’re failing by not having common people understand the basics.
Panelist Siel Ju is the Green LA Girl, and has appeared on outlets including NPR and NBC, among many others. She has a Ph.D in creative writing and literature but is now devoted to blogging about environmental issues. She noted that AB 32 is not a familiar term to most people. It reminded her of the battle with rBGH, which makes cows produce more milk but also causes birth defects. We must give people more information and not just boil it down to “Ban rBGH!” (or “Save AB 32!”) Whether it be eating locally produced food or riding the subway, we should connect AB 32 to things people already desire. Moreover, we must use social media for a conversation to make connections.

Breathe L.A. Green Salon Series, March 2010, photo courtesy Alastair Shearman.
Pictured: Ray Gonzales, Moderator, Green Salon Series.

Panelist Josh Tickell, director of Fuel, stressed that there is power of media in environmental issues. Stepping back from the fray, the long-term objectives of AB 32 are a breakthrough and so are its emissions cuts. The Fuel film is digital media designed to have an effect. They didn’t want the result to just end in rallying efforts, but rather to “shift the energy needle” in this country. He wanted a campaign with 10 goals that people could choose from as they matched their own. A big topic for Josh is fuel made from algae, and he observed that a lot of food energy is going unused. He was able to get a meeting with the Department of Energy and to start a campaign for algae. The meeting turned into a shouting match with great disagreement on the department’s side. In the end, through the social, objective based digital and social media, there is significant investment and growing, with already $100 million being spent on algae lobbying. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can order a million solar roofs, and the next campaign should be a million green cars. What we need, according to Josh, is a broad perspective.

Save It
Before I spoke, I shared my answer to the global warming messaging through digital media and showed my son’s 1Sky PSA, Save It (later endorsed by Global Green and Greenpeace). The shocker was that people wrote hate messages on YouTube where it premiered as Take Part’s first video release, calling me an uninformed hippie that has brainwashed my kids, and some who even said my son was “stupid.” Ironically, my sons both have developmental disorders that I was warned by the EPA they would have, as a result of environmental toxins. With what my children have to go through to be educated in special needs schools, at the expense of the government, is why it matters to all of us. Framing the discussion as a human health issue is much less controversial than global warming and we can use social media to educate people about asthma, autism, cancer and numerous other disorders that are exacerbated by or a direct cause of the toxins we are responsible for trying to control. So Earth Muffin or not, the real cost of paying for our health will far outweigh the cost of converting to cleaner and greener technologies in the long run. That’s how we should use social media to educate the masses to the importance of actually implementing AB 32.
Bio: Nicole organized and produced the first Renewable Energy Conference and Awards Gala at the United Nations sponsored by the Honduran Permanent Mission to the UN with notable speakers and honorees such as Dr. Arthur Nozik of NREL, Dr. Daniel Nocera of MIT as well as Billionaire John Paul DeJoria. She was a featured speaker alongside producer Marshall Herskovitz for the 2009 Green Girls Holiday Event advocating publicly for the use of renewable energy technologies.   
Twitter @nikkihans

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